"Bill" William Lear was the designer of the Lear Jet executive airplane, inventor of the 8-track stereo, and patented several car radios (U.S. patent 1,944,139 - not the first).
William Lear founded the Lear Electronics Corporation, merging with the Siegler corporation in 1960 to become Lear Siegler Inc. William Lear used the capital he acquired from the Lear Siegler merger* to develop Learjet (a company he eventually sold to Gates rubber Co.) where Lear dedicated his life to the development of an antipollution steam engine and new materials for airplanes.
William Lear invented the eight track tape.
William Lear (1902 - 1978)
Audio, automotive and aircraft apparatus.
History of the 8-track Tape
The 8-track format, on the other hand, was developed by a diverse consortium that included the Ampex Magnetic Tape Company, Lear Jet Company and RCA Records, and enjoyed the tremendous advantage of being championed at its inception by Ford Motors, which in 1965 (debuted September 15) offered 8-track players as an option in their complete line of 1966 model cars.
*John G. Brooks was the then president of the Siegler Corporation and became the President and Chairman of the Board of the the new company, Lear Siegler, Inc. until his death in 1971. Contining in the Lear legacy of avionics as well as government and consumer products from 127 operating divisions in 34 states and 17 foreign countries, Lear Siegler, Inc were one of the 200 largest corporations in America employing 29,500 employees.